Hildebrand Law Office
115 N. Williams St., South Bend, IN 46601
Call: 574-303-6578 or 574-323-5126 Fax: 574-303-6578
Business Hours are: Monday - Thursday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm. Friday and evening appointments available upon request.
Phone and Zoom consultations available

Welcome to Hildebrand Law Office

Keeping in touch with the law - and you!

Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, Uncontested Family Law  CONTACT US


How long will my divorce take?

What are my rights when we have a child and are not married?

Can my spouse adopt my child?

I can't afford to pay my bills. What can I do?

These are just some of the frequently asked questions people have who are going through challenging times.


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some brief answers to some common questions. You are more than welcome to email to michelle@michellehildebrandlaw.com with other general questions. However for more in depth information please schedule your free consultation by calling 574-303-6578.

How long will my divorce take? 

In Indiana, a divorce takes a minimum of sixty (60) days from the date of filing until it is finalized. Generally it takes longer, and in some cases, much longer. The length really depends on if the parties have reached an agreement prior to filing or if the divorce is a high conflict situation. If you are dealing with conflict, do not expect the divorce to be finalized in less than six (6) months. However, if you and your spouse are able to agree on everything and will waive a final hearing, by submitting your agreement to the court, you can achieve a final dissolution closer to the sixty (60) day time period.


What are the parental rights of an unwed father?

This depends greatly on your situation. Whether or not you and your child's mother were married, you can have the same rights as a divorced parent. The most important step that you need to take is to go to court to establish your paternity and, even if you live with your child's mother, establish custody and parenting time, just in case you were to separate. By having the court order in place, you are able to continue your relationship with your child rather than having to go to court to establish paternity after a separation. The court process can be slow and if there is no order in place, there is nothing anyone can do if your are denied parenting time prior to a court order.

Can your spouse adopt your child?

In many cases, yes your child can be adopted by your spouse. The process can be complicated and it is extremely important that the Indiana laws regarding notice and consent are followed. If proper notice is not given to the biological parent, and an adoption is finalized, the courts can overturn the adoption if it is later challenged. However, it is a wonderful experience for a child who has been abandoned by one biological parent to be adopted by his other parent's spouse. 

What are your options when you cannot pay your bills?

If you are struggling to pay your creditors, you do have options available. Of course bankruptcy always comes to mind as an option. More information regarding bankruptcy can be found here

However, bankruptcy is not always the answer and may not work in your situation. There are times when reaching a settlement with one or more creditors is better for your situation. Often (but in no way always) a creditor is willing to accept a lower lump sum payment in order the receive some of what is owed, and forgive the remainder. Or you may be able to negotiate a favorable payment arrangement that you can afford. You can always make a settlement offer as a way to resolve you debt and see what the creditor says. In addition, some attorneys will negotiate on your behalf with your creditors. You have options available to you.